Offshore 8/13/20 Catalina west end

PENN

OnoEric

Sometimes I fish
  • Dec 13, 2003
    910
    957
    San Marcos
    Name
    Eric
    Boat
    Grady White 208
    Short version: lots of boats, lots of meter marks of bait and tuna, not much surface activity until about 1:00pm when the birds started to get active chasing fish, but they were up and down real quick so you had to get lucky and have them pop up next to your boat. We ended the day with zero fish.

    Long version: I got the invite on a friend of a friend’s new to him 30 foot Robalo. Great setup and great fishing platform. Left Newport about 5:30 heading to the west end of Catalina. There was just enough chop that we could only make about 18 knots without pounding. Rounded the west end about 8:00 and almost immediately started seeing solid meter marks of bait with tuna marks here and there from 50-75 feet deep. We worked the zone about 5 miles off the island between Cat Harbor and the west end, stopping on meter marks.

    What didn’t work for us: brailing chum; flylining butt hooked, shoulder hooked, and nose hooked sardines; long soaks and short soaks on those baits; sinker rigs with sardines; jigging small flat falls; jigging small colt snipers; slow trolling sardines; slow trolling Nomads and Halcos; fast trolling Nomads and Halcos; stopping on kelp paddies. At one stop on a meter mark, we looked up and were able to count 83 (plus or minus a few) boats within sight. Tuna don’t like boats, and bluefin especially don’t like boats. I’m sure that had something to do with the fish keeping their noses in the mud.

    We had to bail for the barn about 1:30, but we may have had better luck if we were able to stick it out for another couple hours. Right around 1:00, we started seeing terns diving on fish. But they were hauling ass and not staying up very long. There was no chance to even react to them before the fish went back down. Maybe those fish would have started staying up longer a little bit later in the day once the fleet had spread out and thinned out. We cruised in at 27 knots down swell with very little wind.

    If I was going this weekend, I’d stay away from the fleet and find your own fish. There is a large volume spread out over a very large area. But everything is west of Cat Harbor, likely out very close to SBI. East of Cat Harbor is a desert. Even with all the boat traffic, there were solid marks a mile or two away from the fleet.

    Hope this helps someone. Go get them. Here are a few photos (note I don’t know the water temp because clearly it was not 86° or 87° like the fish finder says 😆):


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    SaltH20Angler

    I'm not superstitious... cuz it's bad luck.
  • Aug 6, 2016
    1,380
    1,897
    SoCal - Corona
    Name
    Christopher
    Boat
    I know a couple guys...
    Nice write up, and good on you guys for trying everything (what didn't work). Seems the SD fleet is heading back home to more familiar zones.

    Was fun watching from my phone while it lasted. We were gonna join the zoo tomorrow but that might change now. Pretty cool to see the Freelance deck 42 BFT earlier this week. What are the chances of that on a 3/4 day. 🤪

    Get 'em next time man.
     
    Upvote 0

    OnoEric

    Sometimes I fish
  • Dec 13, 2003
    910
    957
    San Marcos
    Name
    Eric
    Boat
    Grady White 208
    Nice write up, and good on you guys for trying everything (what didn't work). Seems the SD fleet is heading back home to more familiar zones.

    Was fun watching from my phone while it lasted. We were gonna join the zoo tomorrow but that might change now. Pretty cool to see the Freelance deck 42 BFT earlier this week. What are the chances of that on a 3/4 day. 🤪

    Get 'em next time man.

    No joke. It's not too often you'll see the Gail Force and the Apollo fishing side-by-side like they were yesterday. I took a vacation day from work to try to get out before the weekend crowd, but I guess a few hundred people tried to do the same.

    For what it's worth, we went home around the east end and the Freelance and Fury were tucked up against the island fishing the kelp at the V's.
     
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    Capt Devo

    Fish Hard
    Mar 14, 2010
    748
    863
    San Clemente
    Name
    Devo
    Boat
    Trophy
    Short version: lots of boats, lots of meter marks of bait and tuna, not much surface activity until about 1:00pm when the birds started to get active chasing fish, but they were up and down real quick so you had to get lucky and have them pop up next to your boat. We ended the day with zero fish.

    Long version: I got the invite on a friend of a friend’s new to him 30 foot Robalo. Great setup and great fishing platform. Left Newport about 5:30 heading to the west end of Catalina. There was just enough chop that we could only make about 18 knots without pounding. Rounded the west end about 8:00 and almost immediately started seeing solid meter marks of bait with tuna marks here and there from 50-75 feet deep. We worked the zone about 5 miles off the island between Cat Harbor and the west end, stopping on meter marks.

    What didn’t work for us: brailing chum; flylining butt hooked, shoulder hooked, and nose hooked sardines; long soaks and short soaks on those baits; sinker rigs with sardines; jigging small flat falls; jigging small colt snipers; slow trolling sardines; slow trolling Nomads and Halcos; fast trolling Nomads and Halcos; stopping on kelp paddies. At one stop on a meter mark, we looked up and were able to count 83 (plus or minus a few) boats within sight. Tuna don’t like boats, and bluefin especially don’t like boats. I’m sure that had something to do with the fish keeping their noses in the mud.

    We had to bail for the barn about 1:30, but we may have had better luck if we were able to stick it out for another couple hours. Right around 1:00, we started seeing terns diving on fish. But they were hauling ass and not staying up very long. There was no chance to even react to them before the fish went back down. Maybe those fish would have started staying up longer a little bit later in the day once the fleet had spread out and thinned out. We cruised in at 27 knots down swell with very little wind.

    If I was going this weekend, I’d stay away from the fleet and find your own fish. There is a large volume spread out over a very large area. But everything is west of Cat Harbor, likely out very close to SBI. East of Cat Harbor is a desert. Even with all the boat traffic, there were solid marks a mile or two away from the fleet.

    Hope this helps someone. Go get them. Here are a few photos (note I don’t know the water temp because clearly it was not 86° or 87° like the fish finder says 😆):


    View attachment 1185278View attachment 1185279View attachment 1185280View attachment 1185281View attachment 1185282View attachment 1185285
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    .

    Same for Me
     
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    Capt Devo

    Fish Hard
    Mar 14, 2010
    748
    863
    San Clemente
    Name
    Devo
    Boat
    Trophy
    No joke. It's not too often you'll see the Gail Force and the Apollo fishing side-by-side like they were yesterday. I took a vacation day from work to try to get out before the weekend crowd, but I guess a few hundred people tried to do the same.

    For what it's worth, we went home around the east end and the Freelance and Fury were tucked up against the island fishing the kelp at the V's.

    Yes they can’t make a day of Tuna on a 5 to 5
     
    Upvote 0